Sunday, November 29, 2009

Healthy Diet Friendly Pies

Need a healthy dessert for the holidays? We asked a few health-minded chefs to create lighter, healthier versions of classic pies. Here are the results, from apple to pumpkin and all your favorite fillings in between.

By Emily Dorn
Blueberry Mint Pie


Chef Tyson Podolski of Summer Winter Restaurant in Burlington, Massachusetts, has created a pie that will transport you to a midsummer's day. But the best thing about this recipe is neither the seasonal association nor the fact that it is low in fat and calories. It is simply just as delicious with frozen berries found in any supermarket as with fresh. Plus, its gorgeous midnight blue filling provides a striking contrast to the creamy -- yet healthy -- yogurt dolloped on top. A diet-friendly show stopper.

Makes 12 servings
Ingredients

Low-Fat Crust
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled oil (canola or olive oil)
1 extra-large egg white; lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar, either white wine or apple cider
Ice water as needed

Blueberry Filling
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Healthy Whipped Cream
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon orange liqueur or any flavored liqueur that you prefer
Directions

To make pie crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl. Carve a small well in the middle of the flour and add chilled oil to it. Mix with fork until dough is crumbly. Mix in beaten egg white and white wine vinegar. Using your hands, form dough into ball, adding ice water to the dough if it is still a bit crumbly. Dough should hold together well. Refrigerate until very cold (1/2 hour). Roll dough on a floured surface until 1 inch thick. Drape over 9-inch pie pan, being careful not to tear the dough. Trim off the excess pieces and discard. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.

To make filling: In medium saucepan, combine 2 cups blueberries with both light brown and granulated sugar, flour, margarine, lemon juice, spices, and salt. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture comes to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in remaining 2 cups of blueberries and the chopped fresh mint. Pour into prepared pie crust and let entire pie cool.

To make whipped cream: If there is liquid in the yogurt container when opened, drain off liquid. In a very cold small bowl, whip the whipping cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold in drained yogurt and orange liqueur. Dollop over pie when ready to serve.

Nutrition info: 281 calories, 4g protein, 43g carbohydrate, 11g fat (2g saturated fat), 2g fiber, 132mg sodium


Sweet Potato Pie


Trust us, now you can polish off a plate of comfort food -- like this sweet potato pie -- and still feel svelte. The version here proudly touts the merits of its main ingredient: tubers so perfectly sweet that the need to camouflage them with butter, sugar, and whole milk is a nonissue.

Makes 12 servings
Ingredients

Low-Fat Crust
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled oil (canola or olive oil)
1 extra-large egg white; lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar, either white wine or apple cider
Ice water as needed

Sweet Potato Filling
16 ounces sweet potatoes, baked till soft, with skins removed
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar or Splenda
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
12-ounce can evaporated skim milk
Directions

To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl. Carve a small well in the middle of the flour and add chilled oil to it. Mix with fork until dough is crumbly. Mix in beaten egg white and white wine vinegar. Using your hands, form dough into ball, adding ice water to the dough if it is still a bit crumbly. Dough should hold together well. Refrigerate until very cold (1/2 hour). Roll dough on a floured surface until 1 inch thick. Drape over 9-inch pie pan, being careful not to tear the dough. Trim off the excess pieces and discard. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.

To make filling: In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix all ingredients. Pour into the prepared crust and bake at 350 degrees F. for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Nutrition info: 221 calories, 6g protein, 34g carbohydrate, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 2g fiber, 125mg sodium


Pumpkin Pecan Pie


Instead of having to choose between baking either pecan or pumpkin pie, this fantastic recipe from Deborah Racicot of Gotham Bar and Grill in New York rolls them both into one, and in a unique twist, transforms the pumpkin layer into a light cheesecake filling. If that's not enough to tempt you, consider that there is no refined sugar in the whole shebang, and the cream cheese is low-fat. Note: This treat is best served at room temperature or cold. Factor in lots of cooling-down time before serving.

Makes 12 servings
Ingredients

Crust
2 cups low-fat graham crackers
1/2 cup melted butter

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon Splenda
4 egg whites
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Pecan Filling
1 large egg
1/2 cup agave syrup (such as Wholesome Sweeteners, available at health food stores)
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons Splenda
2 tablespoons almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bourbon
3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
Directions

To make crust: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Put the cookies into a plastic bag and with a rolling pin crush them until fine. Place them into a medium bowl. Melt butter and pour it over the cookie crumbs. Mix it well with a spoon until all the crumbs are coated completely with butter. Press the crumbs over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let crust cool completely.

To make pumpkin filling: Place low-fat cream cheese in a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment. Add the Splenda and maple syrup. Cream the mixture well, until very smooth. Add the pumpkin puree with the spices and salt. Mix until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl well. With the mixer on low speed add the eggs. Mix just until incorporated. Pour into the pan and place in the freezer. Allow it to freeze so it is just firm to the touch. That way you can pour the pecan mixture on top and it will remain as two layers.

To make pecan filling: Set oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, using a whisk, place all of the ingredients together. Whisk well. Pour the filling onto the frozen pumpkin filling and place it in the oven. Bake the pie in the oven for 20 minutes. Open the oven door and rotate the pie carefully. Then set the timer for another 20 to 25 minutes. The pie is cooked if the filling does not move when jiggled. Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.

Nutrition info: 279 calories, 5g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 16g fat (6g saturated fat), 2g fiber, 277mg sodium



Peach Ginger Pie

There are three different types of ginger in this recipe -- candied, powdered, and freshly grated -- yet somehow the flavor of these tangy ingredients doesn't overpower, but only enhances the sweetness of the peaches. Chef Jaime Sudberg of NYC's The Stanton Social usually creates decadent desserts, such as the housemade red velvet Twinkie, that cater to a late-night crowd. As a healthy alternative to hold court with the menu's rich options, her Peach Ginger Pie only tastes like it's loaded with fattening ingredients. The verdict? No guilt!

Makes 12 servings
Ingredients

Crust
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Crisco all-vegetable shortening stick
3 tablespoons cold water

Peach Filling
4 cups peeled and diced peaches
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons diced candied ginger
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water
Directions

To make crust: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Add Crisco in cubes until all flour is blended in to form small chunks. Sprinkle with water, using one tablespoon at a time. Toss lightly with fingers or fork until the dough forms a ball. Press between hands to flatten out slightly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then, on a floured surface, and with dough itself lightly floured, roll to 1-inch thickness. Fit dough into 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

To make pie filling: Set oven to 350 degrees F. Mix peaches, salt, and the three ginger ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. Combine cornstarch, sugar, and water in a small pan and cook over medium heat until thick. Fold into peach mixture. Fill prepared pie crust with this mixture and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Nutrition info: 200 calories, 2g protein, 30g carbohydrate, 8.2g fat (2g saturated fat), 1g fiber, 195mg sodium
More Pies see:  fitnessmagazine.com